Your options for getting from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi include train, bus, taxi and mini bus. Read on for more information on getting there, on hotels in Kanchanaburi and things to do in this fascinating, peaceful, part of Thailand. If you’d like to book a day trip or tour to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok, that is also possible, click through for details here. We took the Bangkok to Kanchanaburi train to spend a few days relaxing on the laid-back River Kwai, what a great train journey and what a beautiful place Kanchanaburi is.
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Accommodation in Kanchanaburi includes guest houses, river rafts, hostels, resorts and hotels. We found prices good. Kanchanaburi is more affordable than Bangkok. Start your search for a room here with the latest special offers or scroll further down for recommendations:
How to Get to Kanchanaburi From Bangkok
You have a few choices, this was the information we had, a few days ago. Things change, you need to check. There is the train, a regular minibus service, scheduled buses as well as the options of driving or taking a metered taxi.
Booking Tickets to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok
There are only 3 ways of booking train tickets in Thailand:
- Pay an agent or tout a fee.
- Go to the train station yourself
- Use 12Go Asia to book online, tiny fee, tickets can even be delivered internationally.
We highly recommend booking your tickets through 12 Go, it’s simple, no fuss, minimal expense and reliable. They also handle bus ticket bookings and better rates than any agent will give you. We use them, we recommend them.
The Bangkok to Kanchanaburi Train
The train to Kanchanaburi goes from Thonburi Station in Bangkok, that’s not the main train station, it’s a tiny one. It’s not far from the Khao San Rd area. We paid 150 Baht from the Khao San temple to Thonburi station, you could probably find a driver who would charge you less or, ideally, use his meter. We beat this guy down from 200 and then lost the will to fight. He was the sweetest guy, he made the kids little origami flowers while we were stuck in traffic jams. Taking a river boat most of the way may be a cheaper option, the station isn’t far from the jetty. The train costs 100 Baht each. We had to pay full price for both of the children ( 6 and 9) The Bangkok to Kanchanaburi train leaves at 7.50 am or 1.55 pm.
Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by Taxi
The taxi driver to the station tried to talk us into taking the taxi straight to Kanchanaburi for just over 1000 Baht. It would have been quick and only cost us about 500 Baht more, but we would have missed out on the pleasant train ride. People sometimes go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi for the day by taxi, they check out the sights and return to their Bangkok hotels at night.
There are a million travel agencies in the Khao San Rd area that will put you on a backpacker’s minibus to everywhere from Cambodia to Burma. The one we tried quoted us 250 Baht / person to Kanchanaburi from central Bangkok. So for a family it’s quite pricey, children pay the same price. Interestingly, the minibus from Kanchanaburi back to Bangkok, seems to only be 150 Baht, from the signs on the street here.
As always with minibuses in Thailand, shop around and compare prices, don’t take the first offer. Be aware that these drivers go very fast where they can.
What’s the Train to Kanchanaburi Like?
The Bangkok to Kanchanaburi train takes about 2.5 hours, so the journey doesn’t drag on and get tedious. Our journey took almost 3 hours, we arrived at around 5 pm, plenty of time to walk the few meters from the station to the main strip of guest houses .
How far is Kanchanaburi from Bangkok? 201KM, 125miles, as the crow flies.
Trains are a wonderful way to travel, the older the better. The passenger is compelled to do nothing, just gaze out of the window at the changing countryside. The train to Kanchanaburi stops a few times at small Bangkok stations, this doesn’t go on for long, the time between stations get longer and eventually you’re rolling through some of the prettiest rural scenery you can imagine. We saw goats, cows, water buffalo, hundreds or cranes, egrets, ducks and chickens around the rice fields. The seats are wooden, no padding, the windows are open, keep an eye on your kids! My boys thought it was great just looking out of the window. If you are hungry or thirsty vendors will keep you supplied with snacks. I can recommend the omelette rice with spicy chicken. Train food is usually good because it’s made for the locals, not the tourists. I’m not sure if there were toilets, we didn’t look. It rained hard for a while, you can pull up the windows then, the open windows give you a lovely breeze and there are ceiling fans that help a bit when you are sitting at stations
Accommodation in Kanchanaburi
We didn’t trawl up and down finding the best place at that time in the afternoon, we went with the first cheap place we found, the Jolly Frog, an old Lonely Planet favourite that’s now very run down, but still cheap. 2 twin rooms cost us just 200 Baht each. ( we wouldn’t recommend)
Kanchanaburi is so much cheaper than Bangkok, where we were paying 900 Baht for a triple room for 4 on Rambutti Rd.
The next day we moved to popular Sugar Cane 2 Guest House ( click through for rates) for a simple, affordable raft room on the stunning river. They serve good food and we had a very enjoyable stay here. They are in the top 20 hotels on Trip Advisor.
Not everyone wants to travel as budget as we do, luckily there are plenty of options to suit every pocket.
Hotels in Kanchanaburi at Your Price Point
A selection of Kanchanaburi hotels, with good reviews and recommendations.
Upmarket Resort with Pool Dheva Mantra Resort $$$ #4 on Trip Advisor
River Raft Hotel Tara Raft Kanchanaburi Guest House $
Things To Do In and Around Kanchanaburi.
Kanchanaburi is rich in war history and well supplied with museums. You will find many natural attractions and national parks in the area, including waterfalls.
Kanchanaburi is also of note for its Neolithic history, artifacts have been found here and you can find a display at the Jeath War Museum.
The famous Bridge on the River Kwai, The Hellfire Pass and Memorial Museum, The Jeath War Museum, Don-Rak War Cemetary, Chonk-Kai Cemetary, The Bridge War Museum, Three Pagodas Pass, Erawan National Park, Ban Khao National Museum, Sri Nakarin National Park, Pong Teuk Elephants World, Sai Yok Yai, Prasat Muang Singh National Park, and Wat Dong Sak are nearby.
Alternatively, why not take a cruise on the river or enjoy a local cookery course.
The infamous Tiger Temple and Safari Parks are also near Kanchanaburi.
Our favourite thing to do in Kanchanaburi, just relax!
Kanchanaburi is Beautiful!
The river view from The Jolly Frog guest house. Isn’t it gorgeous.
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We love Thailand’s capital and there are endless things to see and do in Bangkok, but Kanchanaburi is something entirely different, peaceful. It’s well worth the short train ride from Bangkok to spend a weekend or a few days checking out the attractions or chilling on the River Kwai. And getting to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok is half of the fun! If you’d like more information on travel in Thailand, don’t miss our main Thailand Travel Blog page, plenty of information there for singles, couples or families taking any sort of trip in Thailand.